Trail Mix

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Recently Kroger’s MyMagazine Sharing Network invited me to participate in a challenge called the Kroger Trail Mix Face-off.  They sent me a free bag of Kroger Mini Twist Pretzels and a nice size bag of Kroger Almonds as well.  The challenge was to come up with the ultimate trail mix and to decide based on what you mixed together if you were Team Sweet or Team Savory.  On their website they even gave idea of possible sweet and savory combinations.

In my concoction I added basically everything but the kitchen sink.  I started with a ton of the Kroger mini pretzels, added some honey-flavored Teddy Grahams, Kroger Cheese Nips, caramel Crunch ‘n Munch, plain chocolate M&M’s, and wheat Chex.  I decided that in my opinion trail mix needs to be both sweet and savory.  I can’t imagine just choosing one or the other.  I think my trail mix turned out ok–my husband sure ate enough of it.  But I think it wasn’t the best trail mix ever.  I think that what it could have done without were the Teddy Grahams and the Chex.  While I enjoy both of these products on their own I feel like they just didn’t add anything to the mix to make it stand out.  The pretzels and cheese nips added a nice saltiness and the M&M’s and Crunch n’ Munch added the perfect amount of sweetness.  All ingredients were perfectly crunchy!

Again, I refused to declare myself “Team Sweet” or “Team Savory”.  I think instead I should make my own team called “Team Delicious” and I would happily be a taste-tester for any people who would like to join my team!

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Kroger Mini Twist Pretzels

I have always been a fan of Kroger pretzels.  Growing up we would eat Kroger brand food over name-brand most of the time.  A bag of these will run you just over $1 which is quite the deal.  In contrast the name brand pretzels of similar quantity run anywhere fro $2.50 a bag to $3.50.  I will choose $.99 every time as I do not believe that the name brand are substantially better if better at all.

Kroger Salted and Roasted Almonds

Kroger sent me a free 10 oz package of these almonds.  I couldn’t find the 10 oz packages in store but a 24 oz package will cost you just shy of $10–yeah I know, nuts are expensive!  But, in contrast a Blue Diamond 16 oz package costs $9.  So, the Kroger brand is by far the better value.  Unfortunately I cannot attest to the flavor difference in the Kroger vs the Blue Diamond as I do not eat nuts.  At all.  Ever.  I know I am weird.  I brought the bag of nuts to a party and I will say they definitely got eaten.  So–they must have been good.

This was yet another fun challenge given to me by Kroger’s MyMagazine Sharing Network.  I can hardly wait to be assigned a new mission with more great products to try!

Spring-Fresh Look

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I was recently sent a a free box of beauty samples by the MyMagazine Sharing Network in conjunction with the Kroger Company.  Let me first say that I am thrilled with everything I received!  In my box I received a can of TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Hair Spray, a sample pack Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Daily Moisturizer and Restorative Night Cream, a Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying 100% Hydrogel Mask, a sample-size L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara Primer, a sample of Love Beauty and Planet Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner, and a Garnier Fructis Nourishing Treat 1 Minute Hair Mask trial packet.

TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Hair Spray

This is a completely new product to me.  I have used the original TRESemme hairspray many times in the past.  I have always liked the way it smelled but wasn’t always happy with the “crunchy” feeling it gave my hair.  The compressed mico mist comes in a 5.5oz can vs. 11 oz original but is reported to have the same number of sprays as in the larger can.  Not only that, it also produces 50% less gas per spray!  That is a big deal in helping out to reduce our carbon footprint.  I like the more sleek size of the can and it is also slightly contoured so it’s easy to hold.  But the most important part is that this is the first hairspray I have found that doesn’t make my hair crunchy and does what it’s supposed to do without making my hair look dirty.  I will definitely continue using this product.  This hairspray can be found at Kroger for $4.99.

Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Daily Moisturizer and Restorative Night Cream

I was happy to see this product in my box as I had just run out of my moisturizer.  I actually already use the Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Daily Moisturizer.  What I like about it is that it is SPF 30 and it leaves my skin feeling smooth but not greasy.  The Restorative Night Cream was new to me.  I have been putting it on in the evening and I think perhaps my forehead does look a little less wrinkly but I feel like I end up a little greasy.  I also have never been very fond of the way these smell.  Both the Daily Moisturizer as well as the Night Cream sell at Kroger for $19.99 which is a bit steep.  I think I will continue to use the daily moisturizer but probably won’t purchase the restorative night cream.  That is unless after I use this whole sample I change my mind about the grease factor.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying 100% Hydrogel Mask

IMG_1089IMG_1027I loved this Neutrogena Deep Cleaning Hyrogel Mask! I have never used a hydrogel mask before and honestly didn’t even know they existed. Before I have used mud masks that you wash off or gel masks that go on as liquid and you peel off when they’re dry. What I loved about this mask was that the hydrogel was so cool which felt wonderful to leave on my face for 30 minutes while I relaxed in the tub. It also smelled great. After removing the mask it left no sticky residue and my skin was soft and supple.  I have not been able to find this product at Kroger yet (maybe it’s too new) but I was able to find it on Amazon (affiliate link) for $30 for a box of 12.

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara Primer

I have used this product in the past and have really liked it.  You apply this white mascara primer and follow it up with your normal mascara.  The primer helps to lengthen the eyelash prior to mascara application.  I have also found that it helps reduce smudging.  I have also found that it is not any harder to wash off my mascara when I use this which is a plus.  The only negative I see is that it does give the lashes somewhat of a clumped together appearance.  A full-size tube of this mascara primer can be found at Kroger for $6.19.

Love Beauty and Planet Lavender Shampoo and ConditionerIMG_1404

I was thrilled when I learned about Love Beauty And Planet and that it is available at Kroger. I try hard to use beauty products that do not test on animals and are vegan but those type of products can get expensive. This brand is a very good price for something that is vegan, earth-friendly and cruelty-free! The scent I tried was Lavendar which is overly perfumey to me but fortunately it didn’t leave the scent in my hair, I was only able to smell it while I was washing my hair. It lathered easy and both the shampoo and conditioner rinsed out quickly. My hair was left feeling cleaner than it has felt in a long time and it lasted a full 24 hours. My hair is usually greasy before 24 hours have passed. Overall I loved this product and am looking forward to purchasing a full-size bottle of shampoo and conditioner in the Coconut and Ylang Ylang scent.  You can currently find Love Beauty and Planet Shampoo and Conditioner for $6.99 each at Kroger.

Garnier Fructis Nourishing Treat 1 Minute Hair Mask

IMG_6108And last but most certainly not least is this Garnier Fructis “Nourishing Treat” Hair Mask.  I have always loved Fructis products as they always smell divine.  This one is no exception.  The coconut extract smells amazing and is perfect for the summertime as it reminds me of the beach.  You can use this in three different ways: a 1 minute mask, a regular conditioner, or as a leave-in conditioner.  I used it as a mask and it did exactly what it promised which was to smooth my hair and make it manageable.  Best of all this product is vegan and does not use parabens or silicones.  I would definitely use this product again.  You can find a 3 oz tub at Kroger for $3.

 

Have you tried any of these products?  What did you think?

Anything For Your Pet

I recently was assigned a really valuable mission by the MyMagazine Sharing Network.  This mission was called “Anything for your Pet” and they sent me a whole bunch of awesome dog treats and foods to try for free!  IMG_1338I received:

  • ONE (1) Free Nature’s Recipe® Wet Dog Food, 2.75 oz.
  • ONE (1) Free Pup-Peroni® Dog Snacks, 5.6 oz.
  • ONE (1) Free Blue Buffalo® Chicken & Brown Rice, 4 oz. or ONE (1) Free Blue Buffalo Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice, 4 oz.
  • ONE (1) Free Coupon for Purina ONE® True Instinct Trios Dog Treats
  • ONE (1) Free Coupon for Purina® Beneful® Grain Free or Select 10™ Premium Dog Food
  • ONE (1) Free Coupon for Nudges® Dog Treats
  • ONE (1) Pass-along $2 Coupon for Nudges Dog Treats
  • ONE (1) Pass-along 75¢ Coupon for Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks, 5.6 oz.
  • ONE (1) Pass-along $2 Coupon for Purina Beneful Grain Free or Select 10™ Premium Dog Food
  • ONE (1) Pass-along $1 Coupon for Purina ONE True Instinct Trios Dog Treats
  • ONE (1) Pass-along $4 Coupon for Blue Buffalo Dry Dog Food, 15 lbs. or larger
  • ONE (1) Pass-along 50¢ Coupon for Nature’s Recipe Wet Dog Food, 2.75 oz.

IMG_1456Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Wet Dog Food

It seems like “grain free” dog food is all the rage these days.  I myself have not tried grain-free for my dogs.  A lot of people swear by it and say it really has helped their pet’s digestion.  This product received really great reviews online.

A container of this wet dog food costs about $1 at Kroger and it is 2.75 ounces.  On the container it says to feed an adult dog 2-3 2.75 oz cups of this food per 5 pounds of body weight daily.  So, I have three dogs whose combined weight would equal 84 pounds.  So if I followed their feeding instructions that would be almost 17 packages of this food a day and at $1 a pop we’re talking $17 a day for dog food!  Yikes!

The high price tag was an instant turn-off for me.  Not only that, I cannot stand the way canned meat smells when I open it–it absolutely turns my stomach.  So, I probably won’t be feeding this to my dogs.  I think I will stick to kibble.  I do believe if one of my dogs were really sick and not wanting to eat that the smell of wet dog food would really motivate them to eat.  So maybe I will hang on to it just in case one of my dogs is ever sick and refusing food.

 Pup-Peroni Original Beef Flavor Dog Snack

I received a 5.6 oz package of these treats to try–a $2.99 value.  Our new dog absolutely loves the Pup-peroni Original Flavor. I rescued this pup off the street and at first he was very nervous in my house. I was able to easily win him over with some Pup-peroni. He will get into his crate without complaint and no-hassle whatsoever as long as he is lured with some Pup-peroni. I also like the way these smell–it reminds of of beef jerky so it’s not at all gross to smell when I am giving it to my dogs!  This is a brand I already used prior to getting a sample from Kroger, but it is also a brand I will continue to use!

Nudges Natural Dog Treats Soft BakesFullSizeRender 2

A 10 oz. package of these treats will cost you $5.99 at Kroger and can be found in two varieties there: Chicken, sweet potato, and carrots, and chicken and blueberry.  My dogs love these Nudges Natural Dog Treats Soft Bakes in the chicken, sweet potato, and carrots variety. The treats themselves smell like oatmeal cookies to me so they don’t leave an unpleasant odor on my fingers after I have given them to my dogs. The treats are very soft like a cookie and bread apart very easily so I can split the treat into halves or fourths for my doggies. They love them so much that one of my dogs keeps trying to get on top of the cabinet where I store them! I am glad to have discovered this brand through the MyMagazineSharing Network!

My new foster dog absolutely loves the Pup-peroni Original Flavor. I rescued this pup off the street and at first he was very nervous in my house. I was able to easily win him over with some Pup-peroni. He will get into his crate without complaint and no-hassle whatsoever as long as he is lured with some Pup-peroni. I also like the way these smell–it reminds of of beef jerky so it’s not at all gross to smell when I am giving it to my dogs!

Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe

I received a 4 oz package of the Blue Buffalo Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe kibble for puppies to try.  We have a new dog who is about a year old so not quite a puppy but closer to a puppy than my other two knuckle-headed dogs.  A 3 lb. bag of this dog food is $7.99 at Kroger so certainly a better value than the Nature’ Recipe wet dog food, although I believe kibble is generally more affordable than wet dog food anyhow.  Blue Buffalo has a reputation for high-quality.  This formula boasts protein-rich chicken with no poultry byproducts.  It also claims to be corn, wheat, and soy free and also claims to only have whole grains.  This is a pretty big deal in the dog food world as many dog food’s primary ingredient is corn and chicken byproducts.  I think if you really value your pet’s health and can afford it than this dog food is a good choice.  My dog ate it right up and didn’t have any noticeable stomach issues.

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Purina One True Instinct Trios

I received a 5 oz package of these Purina One True Instinct Trios to give to my dogs.  The Trio I received was Chicken, Turkey, and Duck but it also comes in a trio of Chicken, Beef, and Lamb.  It sells for about $4.49 at Kroger.  The treats are about 1.5″ long and are soft enough to break apart.  They are a nice protein-rich treat and as a bonus–they are made in the USA!  My dogs definitely liked these.  As you can see, my package is empty, they didn’t last long!

Purina Beneful Select 10

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I received a 4.5 lb bag of this Purina Beneful Select 10 dog food with farm-raised beef, a $7.99 value.  I like this price point the best of all of the dog foods that I was given to try.  This particular brand claims that “every ingredient has a purpose” and boasts that it does not contain corn, potatoes, wheat, or animal byproducts.  So, again that is a pretty big deal for dog food.  My dogs are still working on this bag of food.  I am currently mixing it in with my dog’s other dog food as it is not healthy to switch completely to a new food quickly.  So far they seem to be enjoying it.  I think it’s worth keeping up with once their current dog food runs out to see how well they like this one in comparison.

 

All in all this was a pretty amazing mission that I did.  I received almost $20 worth of free products to try and tons of coupons to use in the future.  I also passed along extra coupons to my aunt who volunteers with a rescue group.  I am pretty sure those coupons will come in handy for them!

Have any of you all tried these products?  Let me know what you think!